Sunday, September 30, 2007


So, I don't have Comments on this Blog...which does mean that my backchannel email is often rip-roaringly fun. I think I'll share this one from a man with one of my favorite names, Karri Kokko--

Well, what do you know. I just finished reading "Light." Why, I enjoyed it very much. It's not a book, it's a library. One of those rare books that you might wanna take with you on a desert island. Or carry it around on trips. Because it's got everything, for every mood and every need. Poetry & prose, foreign stuff & translations, self-help & cooking tips, prayer, humor, even pics. A few words in Finnish, too.

And, like that ain't enough, just a minute ago, on television, somebody reads these words from a book:

Like a fiend in a cloud,
With howling woe
After night I do crowd
And with night will go;
I turn my back to the east,
From whence comforts have increased;
For light cloth seize my brain
With frantic pain.

- from Mad Song by William Blake

Light and pain, light and pain. Oh,man.

My best,

Oh, man, indeed. And I post it not just for its Preen-ing dimension but because I had been thinking of doing an immersion in Blake this October ...and this is an email that's turned my hemming and hawing about it to a confirmed YES. Sometimes, you gotta let the universe decide for you, youse know?

And thanks, Radiant Finn, for reading me...then writing Moi.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007


If there's an area that needs its own to be its own editors/publishers, it's poetry! So it's just good to see poets who are editor-publishers recognized for their contributions, and among Didi Menendez's latest fabulous ideas are

Women of the Web Wide Poetry World
Men of the Web Wide Poetry World

Some fabulous reading. And I noticed that in her interview, poet-publisher-editor Anny Ballardini said, among other things:
9) What is your favorite poem as of today and why?

What a question. There are embedded poems, poems that you had to study over and over at school, that you had to quote to make yourself understood; then there are the favorite poems, the ones you read during the five-minute break. At the moment I am spending some time on Eileen Tabios' I take Thee, English, for My Beloved -- I could quote several as favorite poems right from this text.

Thank you, Anny! What a lovely surprise to stumble across that! (Click HERE to go directly to the rest of Anny's interview.) Anny, of course, is the editor-publisher of the stellar Fiera Lingue!


Friday, September 28, 2007


Yay. So we at Meritage Press and xPress(ed) are near to finalizing THE HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, NO. 2. Decisions on acceptances will be sent out soon. Meanwhile:


Beautiful mind. Jukka is designing the cover to the anthology. And what does he do? He wrote a program that generates hay(na)ku where words are shuffled at random to make new string combinations. From that program, he wrote another that generates images based on the shuffled words hay(na)ku and superimposed with some of his photos. Got that? So, something like
esert odexc
irebt ludo cthi

ionpt spwiy
satrd eevnr macom

nnsyu telin
trede niocc spoli

srewo appys
nthe ergpi eesr

continuing on for a total of 100 hay(na)ku has been generated which, in turn, becomes the fertile field from which blossoms a multiplicity of evocative imageries (that also shows Jukka to be a brilliant colorist). A picture may be worth a thousand words, but poetry makes such calculating calculations irrelevant with untranslateabilities.

I love working with Jukka. He is a pro. Quintessentially so. I much appreciate Jukka's samurai sword flashed ability always to get bottom line to the bone. A pro.
For the pro,
Bone becomes


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Apparently, Midwest Book Review will be reviewing The Light....but you can see a preview of that review at the reviewer Laurel Johnson's blog HERE.

It's that second paragraph with its reference to "strong-willed" father and daughter made me cry. Which doesn't lessen in any way my gratitude to the reviewer. Thank you, Laurel Johnson.


Thursday, September 27, 2007


" extraordinary broker between Europe and America, high and low, old and new, insider and outsider. // However, this role did little to advance [Alfonso] Ossorio's artistic career, for 'serious" artists are not supposed to be impresarios."
--from "Ossorio's Fortunes" by Harry Cooper

So while waiting for Mom's gums to be roto-rootered (don't ask), I read Jim Carroll's FORCED ENTRIES: THE DOWNTOWN DIARIES: 1971-1973. One of the snappiest memoir writers I've experienced, this Jim Carroll.

Anyway, he had a brilliant riff in there entitled "The Art of Using" (Pp. 31-33) which, in my non-humble view, should be required reading for all those who use appropriation/collage as part of their methods to create their art (I implicate moiself in this) -- that is, appropriation beyond the normative appropriation upon which all art relies, of course. Required reading, indeedy, which includes this excerpt:

"...the act of creating the piece and the finished work become one and the same ... the subject and object meet, as the sky and sea meet to form the line of horizon, the point of reflection."

The problem with many works of appropriation is when they mostly rely on process as the point of the work. Here's a test -- would you return to a work over and over again? As with Jim Carroll, I can return frequently to the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock and the lunch poems of Frank O'Hara. If you won't do that with a work despite how much it first interested you in your first perusal (and, indeed, EVEN interested you specifically because of its process), I think that shows a lot of about the work's power...or lack thereof.


Relatedly, recent snailmail brought an art monograph by one of the most undeservedly underrated 20th century artists, ALFONSO OSSORIO: MASTERWORKS FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE ROBERT U. OSSORIO FOUNDATION. Ossorio (1916-1990), an early supporter of Jackson Pollock and Jean Dubuffet, was a poet and artist whose greatest achievements resulted from his invention of montage-in-plastic technique. He called his works "congregations."

"Congregations" is an apt term as his mixed-media sculptures/paintings, while bespeaking the lushness of abstract expressionism, also speaks of "fetishes, reliquaries, and icons" -- to quote Harry Cooper, Curator of Modern Art at the Fogg Art Museum. Cooper adds, "Next to congregations, Rauschenberg's combines seem almost restrained; Ossorio's work instead calls to mind that of such obsessive semi-outsiders as Jess, Jensen, Arman, and Samaras, who continue to challenge canons of taste, whether modern or postmodern. The congregations are Ossorio's effort to bring unity to the multiplicity of his own identity by fusing a vast catalogue of found and altered objects into stunning wholes."

If you wish, you can google Ossorio to find out more about him. But I have a point to make about him, for which I need to first quote from an interview of him printed in the monograph; he says:

"I know what I am trying to do. Which is that in the first place one must change the rules of the medium as far as is necessary to express what one wants. I have been using things that are as disparate as possible. They're not the normal things of a work of art. Matter does continue to exist and have another function when you use it differently. It just doesn't disappear and die. If you want to do what [Clyfford] Still did, which is to eliminate as much as possible, you are left with the individual and his very personal suffering. Each artist has to do it in his way. I mix these things into a new homogenous and cooperative field of activity. That goes for the object, it goes for the technique you use--which is probably plastic, the obvious means today of contemporary use. It doesn't mean it can't be done with just oil and turpentine and pigment colors."

So, here's an artist who used found material to create his works, and yet came up with something very personal. Jim Carroll again: "the subject and object meet, as the sky and sea meet to form the line of horizon, the point of reflection."

And technique. If you care to research Ossorio's works, you'll see that in painting he can be masterful (check out "Beachcomber" 1953). But when you then go to his "congregations," you'll see how visually he creates something similarly lush and layered as his paintings, but by using other (found) material than traditional (historical?) paint on canvas.

And if Poetry is energy, an experience, an engagement -- do we think it can be only captured by verse? Perhaps someone who seems to be doing something OTHER than a particular art form are actually not diluting that form but making it, dare I say, purer? What exactly is purity's lineage?


Last but not least, why is Ossorio still "obscure"? Cooper answers this question with, frankly, the same answer I've heard from others. Ye who are invested in identity-pigeonholing, read this as to why a brilliant artist is ignored, and consider its implications:

"'The absence of a label for his work sets him beyond the pale, outside the hierarchy, and our elect-electors disapprove.' Those words, written in 1961 about Alfonso Ossorio by Michel Tapie (himself a great maker of labels), are as true today as they were then....Ossorio has still not received either the public or scholarly attention he deserives. It is worth asking why.

For Tapie, the reason was that Ossorio injected a scandalous degree of conscious control 'both in message and structure' into the heart of abstract expressionism, a movement that reveled in the unconscious. Another factor may have been Ossorio's nationality, which was no easier to pinpoint than his art. Born in 1916 in Manila of Spanish-Chinese-Filipino descent, Ossorio was sent to boarding schools in England and the U.S., attended Harvard (1934-38), and lived in six different states, Paris and the Philippines before settling in the U.S. in 1952 'with all the passion of a convert.' And unlike the immigrant artist who sensed that an American identity would be helpful in the postwar era and that old-world trapping should therefore be shed, Ossorio neither changed his name nor hid his deep knowledge of art, which stretched across eras and borders, from Southeast Asia through Europe and England to the U.S. and Mexico. Finally, Ossorio was both independently wealthy and openly gay, two more strikes against him in a society that still believed in the myth of the macho creator."


Elsewhere in FORCED ENTRIES (I say elsewhere cause I can't be bothered to go looking it up and citing page numbers for chrissakes I'm blogging and it's past midnight), Jim Carroll says something about how "chance" methodology actually can be cowardly. I get that. Totally get that. And I speak as one who consciously revels in chance methodologies.

But then again, I don't believe in coincidences. I believe in synchronicity(ies).

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007


would be called "English & Spanish" because I live in Napa Valley.


One of my old short stories has been picked up by OurOwnVoice's just-released Special Issue -- A Restrospective on the Martial Law Years. Click HERE to read "Negros" which was birthed at a time when I was busily addressing Ferdinand Marcos' regime through short stories.

And here's an excerpt from OurOwnVoice's Editor's Introduction by Reme Grefalda:

Had we all come down this low? This crassness so blindly and ragingly hurled was a mirror of what we were Becoming. Had the dictator succeeded in making us enemies of each other?

* * * *

This retrospective issue is necessary for all our wounded psyches. For that one particular sore that won't heal. Remembering those years and what havoc they wrought in individual lives, airing the festering wound and bringing it to sunlight, or pondering on those times might guide us to new ways of thinking. Remembering how and why the years accumulated to produce our passivity in the face of Power Run Amok—even this shame!—must be confronted.

Here's OurOwnVoice's Official Announcement:

Dear OOV Readers,

Please CLICK on

The issue is a Retrospective on the Martial Law years and it features poems by Doris Nuval and Isagani Serrano, incarcerated by Marcos during those years. Additionally, Luis Cabalquinto, Patria Rivera, Lori Medina, Benjamin Pimentel and E. San Juan Jr.are in the issue.

Retrospective essays on the times written by Ed Maranan, Doris Nuval Freddie Hernandez, Karl Gaspar and Ian Casocot are in this issue as well. And we are proud to include an essay on PETA (The Philippine Educational Theater Association) and the national theater scene that proliferated during the Martial Law era, submitted by Lily Ann Villararaza.

We have 3 short stories that will hopefully make you smile and be teary-eyed written by Eileen Tabios, Denis Murphy andAllen Gaborro.

In keeping with our penchant for bibliographies on certain subjects, we feature a bibliography of Martial Law literature and scholarly works in this issue.

Do visit! Your comments are always welcome.

Reme-Antonia Grefalda
and the Staff of OOV


The Light..., of course, also addresses Ferdinand Marcos' Martial Law and its aftermath.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Moi latest list of Relished W(h)ines unabashedly shows that I obviously met with members of Oenophiles for Poetry while in New York. But a wine list that moves from the 2004 Chianti Frescola to the 1959 Latour a Pomerol might also be a metaphor for the poems one reads. That it's all not a matter of good art or bad art (low art or high art) but that it's a matter of ... pleasure.

(Of course it's not all pleasure. When I drink wine, I also am researching....and at times I read poems that way, too.)

Highly recommend Brian Strang's chap dark adapt, by the way. Brian's poems are new to me -- I was pleased to see the mysterious dark music in his poems -- archetypal stuff.

And here's the rest of moi latest Relished W(h)ine List:

DARK ADAPT, poems by Brian Strang



ILLITERATE HEART, poems by Meena Alexander

NOVEL PICTORIAL NOISE, poems by Noah Eli Gordon

TERRAIN TRACKS, poems by Purvi Shah

THE COW, poems by Ariana Reina

TURNING TO FICTION, poems by Donna Masini

FROZEN ACCIDENT, poems by Alfred Arteaga

FRAIL-CRAFT, poems by Jessica Fisher

FOURSQUARE Special Edition featuring the poetry of Maureen Thorson (Charlottesville, VA, July 2007)

FOURSQUARE, July 2007, Edited by Jessica Smith, featuring poems by Nava Fader, Michalle Gould, Reb Livingston and Sheila Murphy


STILL LIFE WITH CHICKENS, memoir by Catherine Goldhammer

SOR JUANA'S SECOND DREAM, novel by Alicia Gaspar de Alba

KEEPING THE WORLD AWAY, novel by Margaret Foster

THE CAMEL BOOKMOBILE, novel by Masha Hamilton

ABSOLUTE FRIENDS, novel by John Le Carre

THE ALEXANDRIA LINK, novel by Steve Berry

BALANCE OF POWER, novel by James Huston

LAST SHOT, novel by Gregg Hurwitz

2004 Chianti Frescola
2003 Rausan Despagne
1970 Lynch Bages
1990 Lynch Bages
1992 Comte Lafour Merseault Chames
1991 Henschke Hill of Grace
1964 Cheval Blanc
1995 Ciacci Brunello di Montalcino
2001 Kistler "Durell Vineyards" chardonnay
2005 JJ Prum Wehlenuhr Sonnenuhr Spatlese
1992 Opus One
1990 Dom Perignon Champagne
1985 Domaine Leroy Mazis Chambertin
1962 Vega-Sicilia Unico Reserva
1978 JL Chave Hermitage
1959 Latour a Pomerol
1983 Chateau d'Yquem
2001 Alois Kracher #5 Welschreisling Trockenbeerenauslese Zwischen Den Seen

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Monday, September 24, 2007


Thank you, New York! If you go to Marsh Hawk Press' new web site, you will see some brand spankin' new photos from last week's launch. Appropriately, I am accompanied by a BIG BOTTLE OF WINE!

It was nice to have an internet "launch" of The Light just as I hit New York with Jesse Glass' review HERE. Thanks Jesse! Apparently, I write like your -- that's YOU, BABY -- your sister!

And since Burt Kimmelman just posted his introductions at the Marsh Hawk Press Blog, you also can see what this stellar poet-editor thinks about The Light... HERE. Thanks Burt! I never thought my maximalist bent would be linked in any fashion with Robert Creeley and of course such is an honor.

It does look like The Light... will be generating the most varied -- and intriguing -- responses so far among my books. For example:

               Ron Silliman Doesn't Call The Light "Poetry"!

Okay, that was just me doing tabloid headlining (which Ron sometimes does with his list of linkies). But in the comments section, Ron explains why and, yes, does touch on the the book's scope.

Which in turn might lead others to that ye olde question: But is it Poetry? All I can say is, if you think my bending of Puwetry is controversial, wait till you see how I torture the novel.

Meanwhile, thanks again to those who showed their loving faces (and I'm always delighted to see artists from other forms, like stellar visual artist John Morris), and to Sandy and Barbara Mcintosh for feeding Moi. A veritable feast this week, both literally and literarily!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Two events in New York City celebrate Marsh Hawk Press' Fall Releases:

Passing Over by Norman Finkelstein
Forty-Nine Guaranteed Ways to Escape Death by Sandy McIntosh
The Light Sang As It Left Your Eyes by Eileen R. Tabios

Poetry Reading: Norman Finkelstein, Sandy McIntosh, Eileen Tabios
DATE: Sept. 19, 2007
TIME: starting at 6 p.m.
LOCATION: Cornelia Street, 29 Cornelia Street, NYC 10014, 212-989-9319
Cover $7 (includes one drink)

Official Book Launch Party & Book Signing at Poets House
DATE: September 20, 2007
TIME: 7:00-9:00 pm
LOCATION: Poets House, 72 Spring Street, Second Floor, New York, N.Y. 10012. (212) 431-7920

Hear our featured poets, Norman Finkelstein, Sandy McIntosh and Eileen R. Tabios read. Wine, cheese and other good things will be served. (All free, of course). This is a wonderful opportunity to socialize with outstanding poets from NYC and around the country. Authors will be happy to sign books.

Marsh Hawk Press is also offering a Special Launch Price of 40% off the books' retail prices if you wish to acquire all three Fall books. Discounts also will be offered on purchases of individual books.


Monday, September 17, 2007


THE COLOMBIAN POETRY GIFT is a brand new special series co-edited by Moi and Sandy McIntosh and published through Meritage Press.  We are delighted to announce that Brian Clements' manuscript Disappointed Psalms is the inaugural recipient of that prize!  Congratulations to Brian!


And, and, and. No contest, submission (let alone submission fee) or other poetry-debilitating facets were incurred in the giving of this Gift.

More details later!

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Sunday, September 16, 2007


Okay, if you MUST know, I was HERE.

Now, one of you thought "corn and a senator" sounded "romantic." Chortle. Well, fine -- go look at the romance unfolding HERE.

But whilst I was doin' what I needed to do to earn a PINK John Deere baseball cap by shootin' the breeze with 78-year-old Farmer ___ atop his big ol' corn combine, the hay(na)ku kept extending its world tour. To wit, a scholar-translator has asked permission for reprinting sections of The First Hay(na)ku Anthology as part of a paper on the hay(na)ku as a poetic form that's spread worldwide through the internet. Said paper would be presented at a "Literature Congress" in Yucatan next month. Well, what's to say No to? But of course of course....write away, Peep!

So many ways to Congress with Moi, so little time.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007


I'm off to the Midwest to look at corn and a senator. Will be offline until this Sunday. So until I e-return, please consider yourself invited to:


Two events in New York City celebrate Marsh Hawk Press' Fall Releases:

Passing Over by Norman Finkelstein
Forty-Nine Guaranteed Ways to Escape Death by Sandy McIntosh
The Light Sang As It Left Your Eyes by Eileen R. Tabios

Poetry Reading: Norman Finkelstein, Sandy McIntosh, Eileen Tabios
DATE: Sept. 19, 2007
TIME: starting at 6 p.m.
LOCATION: Cornelia Street, 29 Cornelia Street, NYC 10014, 212-989-9319
Cover $7 (includes one drink)

Official Book Launch Party & Book Signing at Poets House
DATE: September 20, 2007
TIME: 7:00-9:00 pm
LOCATION: Poets House, 72 Spring Street, Second Floor, New York, N.Y. 10012. (212) 431-7920

Hear our featured poets, Norman Finkelstein, Sandy McIntosh and Eileen R. Tabios read. Wine, cheese and other good things will be served. (All free, of course). This is a wonderful opportunity to socialize with outstanding poets from NYC and around the country. Authors will be happy to sign books.

Marsh Hawk Press is also offering a Special Launch Price of 40% off the books' retail prices if you wish to acquire all three Fall books.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007


And, again, if you want to keep relishing MOI, I have a new "List as Autobiography" project that I'm blogging over HERE -- the list of my daily snailmail. Among other things, it's a convenient way for you to know whether I would have received your review copy(ies) for Galatea Resurrects (though you also can always check GR's List of Review Copies).

It's interesting how some lists work and some lists don't. My Garbage List was quite fruitful (it helped generate SILENCES and POST BLING BLING); one critic out there is writing a review on SILENCES specifically because of the Garbage List section ("innovative," daw. Hee.). My POET TIC THOUGHT List, however, hasn't done much beyond its blogged self, though there's a certain poignancy that it ended with kari edwards' name....

All right. Time to relish Others. Thanks to Jack Kimball for reviewing Tom Beckett's Tiny Book, STEPS: A NOTEBOOK. Click here for his blog (Sept. 12 post), but I like his write-up so much I'ma gonna reprint it in full below:

A counterminimalist design ethos eggs on Steps A Notebook by Tom Beckett. It's one in a set of Tiny Books from Meritage Press. Publisher Eileen Tabios accompanies her poet as graphic alter ego, supplies drawings and indeed handwrites his text, a duo then stepping onto their small stage in their shared regalia to participate in what I might describe unsneeringly as an intense art dealership. The poems come inside a little page-turner, tiny even in chap terms, a 1.5-inch square thumbnail sketchbook with a cover jacket in multicolored (Navajo? Tibetan?) fabric. The poems come forward, sideways, and upside down in one or two words per line, mostly three lines or fewer to the page. They address the ambiguities of their being composed, seeming parenthetical, always germane, or as one page smack in the middle of the text inveighs: "In / the moment / (be right there)." The poems constitute a bisexuality of sketches, suave quotations, and facts on writing, both as text and process, positing that poetry writing is like composing a music made of temporary flaws ("smudged work of Arias") or like writing on a blackboard, "Looking / at blackboards / how many Ways?" Skepticism -- "Advancement / is a kind / of ____" -- abounds. If poetry is prayer, to paraphrase, prayer is programming of thought that's overexposed and torn. To get beyond the conundrum of prayer, programming, etc., the dealers work on each other and together. Tom's Eileen accommodates the torn thought idea on a ripped page and calms prayer down with a vapor of slants, blank lines, and empty boxes that enforce a silence. Eileen's Tom returns, though, with a new quiet-breaker, "A / poetry of questions / (one answer)." To clarify, he qualifies, "When / I was / a young man." Next page, "When / I was / a little girl."

The cover fabric is Guatemalan, dear Jack. And click HERE if you want info on ordering Tom's or other authors' Tiny Books!

Then, I must say that, from recent reading, Hungry Planet is the most enjoyable work of nonfiction I've read. (And according to its survey, which is not scientific but still enjoyable, Germany spends more on food than any country.) And here are the others in my latest list of Relished W(h)ines:

COMPLICATIONS, poems by Garrett Caples

AMIGO WARFARE, poems by Eric Gamalinda



WANTON TEXTILES, poems by Reb Livingston &Ravi Shankar

FREE, poems by Amanda Laughtland

from I MEANT TO SAY, postcard poem by Amanda Laughtland

NO MATTER, poems by Joel Chace

SELECTED WRITINGS, poems by Cedar Sigo

APOSTROPHE, poems by Elizabeth Robinson

FINALMENTE / FINALLY, English poems by Hugh Fox translated into Portuguese by Glenna Luschei

ARMORED ELEVATOR, poems by Ryan Daley

) ) ), poems by Samar Abulhassan

SEDNA, poems by Michael Helsem


WHAT SHALL WE DO WITHOUT US? THE VOICE AND VISION OF KENNETH PATCHEN, monograph of picture-poems by Kenneth Patchen with an Afterword by James Laughlin


"BURNING INTERIORS": DAVID SHAPIRO'S POETRY AND POETICS, critical study Edited by Thomas Fink and Joseph Lease

PUBLIC ACCESS #1, literary journal edited by Nicholas Grider

TEENY TINY, March 2007, Series #10 edited by Amanda Laughtland

HUNGRY PLANET: WHAT THE WORLD EATS, photographs, essays, recipes written or edited by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio

A PIG IN PROVENCE, memoir by Georgeanne Brennan

THE TREMENDOUS ADVENTURES AND THE MIGHTY DEEDS, RISE, DOWNFALL, LIFE AND DEATH OF A. JACKS (1855), novel by Henry W. Faxon and edited with a brief commentary by Jesse Glass

ASTRID & VERONIKA, novel by Linda Olsson

SIGHT HOUND, novel by Pam Houston

VOWS, novel by Lavyle Spencer

2004 Grifolo Poderi San Lazarro Marche
2005 Kistler chardonnay
1999 Robert Hunter Brut De Noirs, Sonoma Valley
2005 Monticello Estate, Pinot Noir, Napa Valley
2004 Matchbook Syrah, Dunnigan Hills
1999 Tokaji Aszu, 5 Puttonyos, Royal Tokaji
2003 Longwood Shiraz "The Sheep Shearer"

Speaking of Whines, Karri Kokko guesses at The Secret to Happiness. Is it, he asks,


What a Cheeky radiant Finn.

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Preen Alert!

I was about to post my latest "Relished List" update when a Peep directed me to a review of my Dredging for Atlantis. Wow (hey dear publisher Mark, I didn't even bribe the dude). I love this so much I'm posting it in full below. (Is this why SPD's been clamoring for more books to restock their inventory?):

Last but not least, Thank you Jeffrey! Now, you enjoy, too my Pretty Miscalculations:


Eileen Tabios, Dredging for Atlantis
(Otoliths, 2006)

by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright

Imagine the poet as a diver exploring oceans of ancient texts, extracting gems, polishing and resetting them. In her 11th book, Eileen Tabios refers to ekphrasis, or speaking out in a dramatic way about a work of art. She chose “The Last Lunar Baedekar” by Mina Loy, to scumble and work over to create her own startling and original poems. Sleek and economic, they glitter with unexpected imagery and musicality in an atmosphere charged by crinoline and cufflinks, grace and salvation.

“Minor Riddle” (an apposite title) is avant and high-toned and flirts with academe. Yet the ensuing freedom and consequent surprises are compelling and reveal an interior logic unbeholden to straight-up narrative. Embedded in the backdrop of Florence is this joyous one-line stanza: “Minarets growing within muddy whirlpools.”

In “White as Grecian Marble” the poet creates a shiny column of couplets, a classic pastoral. “A trolley loaded/with ivory busts//glides against air/overtaken by snow//beyond this crocheted lace of white dandelions//and one orchid// recalling its youthful orgies.”

Wow! Sappho meets the Objectivisits! Ivory, snow, crocheted lace and white dandelions line up perfectly. And echoing orchid with orgies—the last line is all punch.

Jack Kerouac wrote, “Vision is deception.” Eileen Tabios’ version goes like this: “Go forth and prettily miscalculate.”

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I know the secret to Happiness. It's not love, fame, power, money or any of the usual suspects....It's not even poetry. It's


If you want to try to guess that word, I'll give you a hint: hints about it abound throughout this blog.

Oh, fine. I'll play Vanna White and give you a vowel:


Guess it and be happy!


The Fallen Angels gave me a most salubrious birthday present. The arrival of my first hardback cover. The hardbacks of The Light....and to have Mom be there when I opened the box. I know she thought as much as I did as we gazed at the cover, "Hello Daddy..."


Thank you to those who've expressed Birthday wishes. Yes, as The Light... reveals, I am not, after all, a "9-1-1" Baby. Joy. And, indeed, the hubby took Moi and Mom out to dinner yesterday not today. Birthday wine: 2003 Longwood Shiraz "The Sheep Shearer".

Then said hubby gave me a birthday card of a dog pooping on Mars. All very nice and sweet. I am happy.

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Monday, September 10, 2007


I'm in the middle of compiling a summary of the publishers whose books have been reviewed so far in Galatea Resurrects. The most represented publishers -- represented in terms of having their books reviewed at least four times -- are:

Meritage Press (San Francisco & St. Helena): 21 new reviews
Dusie (Switzerland): 19 new reviews
Marsh Hawk Press (East Rockaway, N.Y.): 18 new reviews
Ugly Duckling Presse (Brooklyn, N.Y.): 13 new reviews
Coffee House Press (Minneapolis, Minn.): 8 new reviews
Hanging Loose Press (New York): 7 new reviews
BlazeVOX Books (Buffalo, New York): 6 new reviews
Presa :S: Press (Rockford, MI): 5 new reviews
Auguste Press (San Francisco): 4 new reviews
effing press (Austin, Texas): 4 new reviews
H_NGM_N Chapbook Series: 4 new reviews
No Tell Books (Virginia): 4 new reviews
Otoliths (Australia): 4 new reviews
Ravenna Press (Spokane, WA): 4 new reviews
Red Morning Press (Granada Hills, CA): 4 new reviews
Salt Publishing (England): 4 new reviews

This tally doesn't, by itself, show the wide diversity of presses featured to date in Galatea Resurrects: 179 presses receiving new reviews; 42 presses receiving online reprints of previously print-published reviews; as well as reviews of four poetry videos, one poetry blog, one poetry audio project, and one poetry performance troupe -- all of which represent 12 countries in terms of the headquarters of the publishers or producers.

This is a particularly remarkable outcome to me; I still remember beginning Galatea Resurrects with just the fervent hope that I'd get just four or five decent reviews each time to make up an "issue." And you should have seen me rifling thorugh the stacks of poetry books in the house to come up with "review copies"! (That may affect how moi own Meritage Press is the top garnerer of reviews, so far. )

One can parse through this result for more conclusions (like small presses taking up the poetry publishing mantle). But we can leave that for the next issue of Galatea Resurrects when I'll share more data as part of moi Editor's Intro.

For now, if you're an author or publisher, go open Moi Purse for review copy and submission info. And, as ever, thank you to the reviewers who've written and are writing reviews/engagements for this idealistic venture.



Speaking of hay(na)ku, whose rollicking trip around the world continues to fascinate Moi (and make Moi jealous: "I want its life!"), Swedish poet Lars Palm has just shared a new manuscript entitled SOME HAY comprised entirely of double hay(na)kus. Welcome, Sweden! Hee. Here's a sample:

imagine images
that now go

go now that
images imagine

The collection also has political undertones:

sense a
peace treaty coming

along make sure
you can

Wait. Last but not least, this sample (perhaps the so-called "title poem"?):

hay for
the horses some

beer for the
bard &

Thanks Lars. Now, Lars is a mischievous blogger, but here's more info about him:

Lars Palm lives in southern Sweden where he works in health care, writes (mostly smallish) silly poems, translates some swedish poets, edits a blog zine called skicka (in english) & at times publishes the first broadside series in the country. He's the author of mindfulness (moria, 2006), on stealing lips (The Martian Press, 2006) & is beside the point (Big Game Books Tinyside 34, 2007). Another, death is, is forthcoming from by the skin of me teeth press sometime soon.


Sunday, September 09, 2007


I was heartened to hear from this morning's email that two British and one New Zealander poets -- all new to me -- are collaborating on a chained hay(na)ku! And I heard of it because they wanted to know if there was a "formal registration" process for participating in THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU. Nope, no need to "register". All you need to do, Peeps, is send me your chained hay(na)ku by the deadline of Jan. 31, 2008.

Go HERE please for more information! ALL POETS ARE INVITED...for the hay(na)ku has always been an invitation!!

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currently in progress, including THIS ONE. No doubt, many people are disappointed that the novel-in-progress I linked to isn't the one that I finished (and got accepted by a publisher!).

Well, patience, Peeps. You are allowed to harangue me only after I've put in at least 12 years into the effort per individual novel, said 12-year-reference being the time it took me to accomplish just one novel I love (and I have over ten years left for "The Blurbed Book Project").

Actually, at the moment, only one of the four novels-in-progress look lively enough to have potential. I, too, am an angst-ridden novelist ... but that's not for this blog where Moi lives to serve you through cheerful cheer!

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Saturday, September 08, 2007


within 24 hours of its submission, the novel is accepted by a publisher.

More details...later.


Friday, September 07, 2007


I just wrote -- finished! -- the first novel with which I am not just satisfied but HAPPY!

Happy Yay!

My first completed novel. After 12 years of attempts, thousands and thousands of failed words, rain forest after rain forest of print-outs!


It's title? But of course its title is





You know how some peeps get an Oscar and some would say s/he didn't really deserve it for that particular role/movie, but it was awarded by the Academy more for the track record of previous good works?

Well, I just read a prize-winning poetry collection. And I've read (I believe) all of this poet's books. And having just read the latest which won a major poetry prize, I concluded that, actually, the collection wasn't as good (so to speak) as one of the poet's earlier books published by an indie press and without all the award accouterments.

And this isn't to say this poet's most recent isn't decent. But I wonder if this poet would have gotten this latest award were it not for hir track record. The award, however, is for a specific book rather than a resume. (Bolstering this theory is how everyone seems to know (of) each other -- judges and winners -- in this contest.)

Well, I don't know that any this means anything....except the obvious, someone overheads says mysteriously. A wing flaps and a feather drops.

And whilst on this book, the poet's trajectory also reflects a saying by Jose Garcia Villa: "I used to think the poem should sing. Now I think the poem should think" (or words to that effect). I don't think the issue needs to be a binary, but this poet's trajectory (to date) does reflect this notion -- and probably this says something about contemporary poetry, too, at least in some quarters of it.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007


As regards the prior post (and other posts previously referencing Moi's Big Burly Men), I'm building on air. It's a way to leave more of the mountain for the wild animals.

And, of course, building on air is nothing new for a poet.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007


has just ramped up on Galatea's mountain with the arrival of a humongous red crane. I can see all the big, burly men just hitching their shorts in their excitement.

Sheesh. What I do to do what John Ashbery also knows: architecture and interior design as Poetry forms.

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Apparently, I wrote a poem called "The Flooding That Writes Itself." I concede I wrote it because I was just asked to proof it. It's scheduled to be published in International Feminist Journal of Politics, put out somewhere in England.

I know nothing about this journal, but I like the name. Sounds impressive.

So, I proofed the poem (found the need to insert a comma) and sent it back as approved for publication.

This is what I know -- there are many poems out there I've lost (track of). What I don't know is how many of them there are.

Of course, their return is always welcome. Even though they do bemuse Moi when they come ringing at the Iron Gate and, having let them enter, I don't recognize them.

So that, later, I would turn to the mirror yet again and ask, Who are You?



"might be called Gallimaufry, or, perhaps, And The Kitchen Sink." Heh -- I've always thought how Allen Bramhall reads can be as interesting as what he reads...

Speaking of The Light... (it's a new book so, what can I say, I'll be speaking a lot of it!), I was in the waiting room with Mom at her doctor's the other day. As we waited, I leafed through the latest Poets & Writers magazine that I'd brought with me. Suddenly, ALL EXCITED, she pointed at the page and said, "Look! Look!"

I looked.

It was Marsh Hawk Press' advertisement of its Fall books, which included a cover image and text about The Light...

I looked at Mom as she continued to blather on (I inherit my blather from my mother, but that's another story). And it occurred to me, She's really impressed.

All this time, I thought advertisements were a waste of time (for my books anyway) as I've never seen a sizeable increase in sales as a result of them. So I'd always thought of advertisements as attempts to boost cultural capital and, hell, I just don't give a hoot about that anymore. The few times I do advertise poetry books, it's often just a way to give support to a worthy organization.

But I do care about Mom...who seemed really gratified to see her daughter mentioned (even if in an ad) in a "national publication". So, for once, I finally felt I got a great return on advertising my books. So much (yet again) for "poetry economics".

Speaking of The Light... (yes, I'm still speaking of it), the hubby was moving a box of author copies to the basement the other day and he grunted at me, "Please. Can you please write a thinner book next time? Please."

I laughed. But he wasn't joking...

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I find Gamalinda's poems unbearable at times, one of those books that I can hardly read one poem at a time. Sometimes a single line will stall me, and I have to, quite literally, put my head in my hands the way I've done when I've seen some terrible accident or been graced unexpectedly with strange music.
--Patrick Rosal on Eric Gamalinda

I'm really happy to see Patrick's write-up on Eric Gamalinda. Patrick is right to note that Eric isn't as well-known as he should be. I would just go further than what Patrick says to note -- Eric's achievements in poetry has nothing to do with "contemporary" or American poetry. Eric is simply among the greatest poet out there to have lived and wrought poems -- worldwide, and for all time.

On a more personal note, Eric's collection LYRICS FROM A DEAD LANGUAGE (Anvil Publishing, Manila) is one of the most influential poetry books ever to take Moi soaring beyond Heaven. That's why in the last poem in The Light, I made a brief homage to Eric by citing him among a list of poet-greats that includes Rilke, Whitman and Olson.

Eric's won the Philippines' greatest literary awards (often more than once). Then he emigrated to the U.S. where (despite various accolades) he's not really been a part of the poetry-award-contest machinery that often serves as the primary determinant for great poetry being written today. But check out Eric's poems, please. It'll blow away (as it did for Patrick) much poetry that you are reading elsewhere.



It's still early days for The Light...'s distribution, which also means that I can so far track where it's flown, to wit: 22 states in the U.S., the Philippines, South Korea, Finland, Mexico, England, Bahrain, Australia, France and Canada. Nifty!

And I thank you all for your early responses, backchanneled or blogged. But I must specifically saY: Gracias Ernesto for your poem which I replicate below because my blog is my file cabinet!

The Light Sings

September 3rd, 2007
Today the postman
brought me The Light:
it is not
about beginnings
or endings,
but about
the very intercourse of daily life;
a book of songs sang
not by a lonely singer,
but by a hospitable rápsoda,
illuminated & enlightened
who knows poetry
is in fact the house of beings.

As you probably know or heard before
The light can almost be blinding in its beauty.


I hope we can all share The Light together at a reading and book launch in New York City in two weeks! Check the sidebar for details of the gigs at Cornelia Street Cafe and Poets House!

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Monday, September 03, 2007


I am helping out a pre-school/kindergarten program in a barangay (village) back in the Philippines. This program, like others like it, is important as I learned recently that only about 40% of Filipino children finish elementary school, and only about 20% complete high school.

Only 20% finish high school! This is a dismaying statistic. And a "get real" contrast with the "official" literacy rate exceeding 90%. (And if poetry books get harder and harder to publish in the Philippines, wouldn't such make sense in light of the statistics?)

In my latest "Relished W(h)ines" list below, the listed "kids' books" are the first set I've sent to this program. If you have any books you'd like to donate -- this includes used books in good condition but which your children may have outgrown -- please contact me at I'm a big believer in starting book culture early -- I think even the physical existence of books in a house, before the kids can read, is helpful for teaching young uns about the books' importance.

IN ADDITION, you also can "trade" such kids' books with me if you are interested in any of my books or those I publish, as I list here:
100 More Jokes From The Book of the Dead (John Yau & Archie Rand)

OPERA: POEMS 1981-2002 (Barry Schwabsky)

The Obedient Door (Sean Finney)

Pinoy Poetics (Ed. Nick Carbo)


I Take Thee, English, For My Beloved (Eileen Tabios)

Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole (Eileen Tabios)

Menage A Trois With the 21st Century (Eileen Tabios)

Meanwhile, here's my latest list of Relished W(h)ines:

DISAPPOINTED PSALMS, poems by Brian Clements

MUCH LIKE YOU, SHARK, poems by Logan Ryan Smith

AND THEN SOMETHING HAPPENED, poems by Susan M. Schultz

NETS, poems by Jen Bervin


THE BOOK OF WHO ARE WAS, poems by Benjamin Hollander


KINE(STA)SIS, poem by Carrie Hunter

THE MOVEABLE ONES, poems by John Sakkis

THE FRANK POEMS by CAConrad with German translations by Holger with assistance from Jonas Slonaker and Sigrid Mayer

ELIXIR REFUSED, a hand-painted book combining visual art and poetry by Ward Schumaker

ROXANNE SWENTZELL: EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE, art monograph edited by Ree Strange Sheck

CAFE EUROPA: LIFE AFTER COMMUNISM, journalism by Slavenka Drakulic

INTO THE WILDERNESS, novel by Sara Donati

THE SAGGY BAGGY ELEPHANT, kids' book by K. & B. Jackson, illustrated by Tenggren

THE GROUCHY LADYBUG, kids book by Eric Carle

THROW YOUR TOOTH ON THE ROOF: TOOTH TRADITIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, kids book by Selby B. Becker, illustrated by G. Brian Karas

BILL AND PETE GO DOWN THE NILE, kids book by Tomie de Paola

ALL I SEE IS PART OF ME, kids book by Chara M. Curtis, illustrated by Cynthia Aldrich

MAMA, DO YOU LOVE ME?, kids' book by Barbara M. Joose, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee

NATHAN'S FISHING TRIP, kids' book by Lulu Delaere

LITTLE PEA, kids book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jen Corace

2003 Dutch Henry NV "Argos"
2003 Dutch Henry chardonnay Los Carneros
2005 Dutch Henry pinot noir
2006 Dutch Henry zinfandel

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

I SAW "300"

the movie last night. For some reason, it reminded me that, contrary to some recent reading of contemporary poems (which don't show up on my intermittent "Relished Whines" lists, btw), Poetry need not be so small....

Relatedly, the Battle of Thermopylae reminds me of Barry Schwabsky's fabulous poem entitled "A Weapon of Defense." I don't have that poem handy, but I did quote much of it as the ending to my poem "Desperate Trust" (in ENGLISH) which ends with

Early in the 7th century B.C.
red roses forged a defensive weapon

By "hampering their movements
through the mountain pass"



The Silliman Review, of the 106-year-old Silliman University in the Philippines, has asked to reprint Mom's engagement (in GR#7) with Luis Cabalquinto's Selected Poems, BRIDGEABLE SHORES.

Moreover, Silliman Review editor Ceres is also writing a history of Silliman University, the first Protestant school founded in the Philippines, and Mom's article has encouraged her to include a chapter on the alumnae of the Department of English and Literature Dept. (The school's Protestant roots reflects the influence of American vs Spanish colonialism, further reflected in my family -- we were raised Methodists.)

Anyway, that's a pretty Wow effect to me -- to have Mom's engagement and Galatea Resurrects reappear in the Silliman Journal. I hope these unfold as offered by Ceres.

But let's take a look at the Angelic Path: the synchronicities that's led to Mom's review and this blog post.

First, years ago I solicited and edited BRIDGEABLE SHORES and it was published by an imprint that I and Kaya Press once thought to develop, called "Galatea Speaks" (sound familiar?). As it turns out, the Kaya imprint only lasted for one book (and, later, I would come to be a publisher through Meritage Press).

Years later, BRIDGEABLE SHORES then became one of four books I gave Mom to review for Galatea Resurrects. At random, she opened this book first...and then came to write her engagement. If you look at her review, as I note on my Editor's Introduction, Luis Cabalquinto's poetry had a significant effect on Mom, to the extent of affecting her world view for the rest of her life -- that "there is something special / about remaining with the living after all..."

THAT is the power of poetry, and how it gives back to you if you give to it.


Speaking of the power of poetry, I have 40 commitments so far for reviews in the next issue of Galatea Resurrects -- No. 8 whose deadline is Nov. 5. Woot! But we are always looking for reviewers. Please check Galatea's Purse on how you may get involved doing reviews as well as the latest list of available review copies (some fabulous publications have recently flown through the gate!).

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